‎NIS 2014 Recruitment: It Followed Due Process – Witness

The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) Thursday told a Federal High Court in Abuja that due process was followed in the award of contract to a private company, Drexel Nigeria Ltd, for the mounting of the e-recruitment portal of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
The evidence came through the Director, Compliance certification and Monitoring of the Bureau, Engr. Ishaq Yahaya, who was cross examined by counsel to the defendants in the ongoing trial of former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro.
He had earlier testified on his evidence-in-chief that the botched recruitment exercise into the Nigeria Immigration Service in 2014 was carried out in contravention of the Public Procurement Act.
But under cross examination by counsel to the former Minister of Interior, Paul Erokoro (SAN), the witness told Justice Nnamdi Dimgba that the project was approved by the Ministerial Tenders Board (MTB) under the Chairmanship of the Permanent Secretary.
According to Yahaya, the minutes of the meeting of the Ministerial Tenders Board which approved the contract for the e-recruitment was signed by M.B Ibrahim, the Director of procurement and secretary of Tenders board, including Mrs. Bola Adewole, Director of Legal Adviser.
He admitted that the recruitment exercise into the NIS was a security project covered under section 43 (3)(c) of the Public Procurement Act, which also exempts the procurement entity when issues of national security are involved.
The witness further admitted that the former Minister of Interior (1st defendant) had informed the BPP that they invited three other companies to bid even though the ministry received unsolicited proposal from Drextel Ltd.
The witness further confirmed that the Ministerial Tenders Board awarded the contract to Drextal Ltd following its experience in e- recruitment portal.
He further confirmed that the Head of Service of the Federation had approved the recruitment of staff into NIS as far back as 2012 adding that a previous exercise was cancelled due to malpractices.
According to him, it was on this basis that government resort to e- recruitment so as to solve the problem of manual recruitment.
He agreed with Erokoro that e-recruitment would not have been done without a portal.
Also under cross examination by Chief Chris Uche (SAN), counsel to the 2nd defendant (Anastacia Nwobia-Daniel, a Deputy Director in the ministry), Yahaya told the court that the time the Bureau wrote to the ministry and obtained its response, the botched recruitment exercise had already taken place as the exercise took place on March 15, 2014.
“The work we did as a Bureau was a post mortem exercise of the process that has taken place. It was a post procurement review. The Technical Evaluation committee had already done their work and submitted to tenders board. The Ministerial Tenders Board was properly constituted and was chaired by the 2nd defendant.
The former Minister, Moro, former Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Anastacia Nwobia-Daniel, a Deputy Director in the ministry, F.O. Alayabami and a a private company, Drexel Nigeria Ltd are standing trial over alleged N676m recruitment fraud.
The the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), conducted recruitment on March 15, 2014, that led to the death of 15 applicants, while several others were wounded.
A former Controller-General of the Service, David Paradang, told the court that he was not aware of the 2014 recruitment.
Paradang was Controller-General between June 2013 and August 2015.
The matter has been adjourned for continuation of trial.
End.

Author: News Editor

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